Children’s Ministry Resources
Godly Play & Children’s Sermons
What are we here for?
We meet here to talk about Godly Play, to share what it’s all about and to discuss how to do it better.
The weekly blog posts are designed to help Sunday school teachers prepare for their Godly Play lessons, and the individual pages (see the tabs at the top of this page) share information about how we do Godly Play at First Baptist Church, Greenville, SC.
We’d love to hear from teachers everywhere, not just the ones at our church! We hope you’ll join our circle and share your ideas!
What Godly Play is Not
Godly Play is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them.
What is Godly Play?
According to the Godly Play Foundation, Godly Play is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.
Godly Play is about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God.
Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
Read more about Godly Play here.
How do we do Godly Play at First Baptist Greenville?
Christians of many different denominations use Godly Play and probably do it differently, even within the same denomination. In this blog, I describe Godly Play by sharing the way our church does it. That doesn’t mean that it’s the best way or the prescribed way, or the only way, of course, but it’s the way that suits us best.
Welcome to the story of King David, the Godly Play story scheduled for this Sunday, November 1, based on 1 Samuel 16-31, 2 Samuel and 1Kings 1-2. You can find the script for the story in the pink Enrichment Presentations for Fall book, p.78-85.
Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’re sharing the story over Zoom. So that means we spend time greeting the children, share the story, ask the wondering questions, and then suggest ways that they might celebrate the story at home with their parents. This could be by retelling it to their family, or by making a gift for God in honor of the story. Teachers are welcome to talk about project ideas with the children, such as the ones below. 🙂
Some of the story’s themes which you might want to help the children think about:
1. We can come to God with all sorts of feelings (as in the Psalms—we’ll explore this one more next week)
2.God can help us be brave enough to do what is right and needed.
3. Friendship is a gift from God.
4. God uses people, even with their faults.
5. God forgives our mistakes when we ask for forgiveness.
Ideas for the Make a Gift for God Time:
|Children choose how to respond to the story and get started!|
|Some children drew symbols of David’s life on stones. You can see another made an ark of the covenant.|
|Stones with symbols of David’s life|
1. Children could reproduce the elements of the
story in some way.
* Make a harp
*Make a crown for King David
*Make an ark of the covenant
*Make a parable box for the parable that Nathan told David (there is plenty of felt in the resource room)
*Make a drawing of Jerusalem- or a watercolor.
2. Children could paint symbols of David’s life (shepherd’s crook, bottle of incense, two friends, crown, ark, etc) on small stones. There are stones in the resource room.
3. Children can celebrate David’s childhood by making David with the sheep. Go to the site here, for plenty of options for crafting sheep. (Scroll down to “sheep”)
4. Children could sculpt a David and Goliath out of play clay.
5. The class could work on a mural of David’s life with one long piece of butcher paper- assigning parts of his life to individual children to illustrate.
6. Children could focus on the friendship between Jonathan and David and explore what kind of friendship God celebrates.